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Heart block

Heart block medically termed as AV block refers to the electrical signal controlling the heartbeat gets completely or partially blocked. It will slow down the heartbeat and skipping the beat as the heart is not able to pump blood efficiently. You may feel breathing shortness, tiredness and dizziness and inserting pacemaker is the most common treatment of it.

What’s heart block?

This is the problem with electrical system of the heart that controls the rhythm and rate of the heart along with beating. This condition is also known as atrioventricular block (AV) or conduction disorder.

What will happen when there is heart block?

In general, electrical signals transmit from upper chamber to lower chamber that is from atria to ventricles. AV node acts as cell cluster for connecting electrical activity. After having heart block the signal cannot transmit through AV to ventricles. As a result, heart is unable to function properly and it may skip the beat or takes slow beats. Hence, it cannot pump blood through the chambers just like normal heart. 

What are kinds of heart attack?

Depending on severity of impairment of electrical signal, there are various kinds of heart attack:

Is heart block dangerous or serious?

It may or may not be relying on the kinds of heart block. Remember, the symptoms, severity and location will vary from a person to another. By keeping it untreated, severe heart block will result in sudden cardiac arrest (stops beating). However, it can lead to fainting spells or lightheadedness.

Who are at risk of getting heart block?

You are at high risk of heart block in case:

What are the causes of heart block?

Heart attack is the most common culprit of heart block. Some other causes are heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy), problems and diseases in heart valve. It can happen because of damage in heart at the time of open heart surgery because of side effect of certain medicines or toxin exposure. You can get heart block because of genetics too.

What are the symptoms of heart block?

Depending on block type, you will experience heart block symptoms.

First-degree block:

It is quite typical in young adults, teenagers and athletes with highly active vagus nerve.

Second-degree block:

Third-degree block:

Third-degree block symptoms are intense because of dropped down heart rate. For any severe symptoms seek medical attention immediately.

What are complexities of heart block?

The associated complexities of heart block are life-threatening like:

How doctor diagnoses heart block?

Cardiologist will go through the family medical history along with yours for assessing the cause of heart block. Then they will make you perform common health-related questionnaire. One should also share the information of medication they are taking at present. Cardiologist can refer the patients to electrophysiologists.

The following tests are mainly carried out for diagnosing heart block:

When should you see a doctor or a cardiologist?

If you experience the following symptoms then you must see the cardiologist:

Here are the few cardiologists whom you may contact for treating your heart block: